“You couldn’t ask for a better team effort from them,” Pope coach Bryan Jones said of his team. “They didn’t quit and fought all the way to the end.”
Pope climbed through the consolation bracket and won three straight matches for a shot at a championship against top-seeded Sequoyah. The Lady Greyhounds defeated Riverwood (25-20, 25-21), Northview (25-21, 19-25, 25-19) and North Springs (25-16, 25-11) to get there.
Following a slow start against the Lady Chiefs in a best-of-five set match, Pope settled down before eventually falling 25-11, 25-19, 23-25, 24-26, 15-12.
Pope didn’t pass well for most of the first two sets. It wasn’t until they trailed 17-6 in the second that the Lady Greyhounds started putting enough points together to get back into the set. Their momentum continued into the third and fourth sets, where they won a pair of nail-biters.
But falling behind by five points early in the fifth ended up being costly, even though Pope tied it at 9-all.
Kristen Phillips totaled 53 kills on the day, adding 22 digs and 12 aces. Sydney Darden added 41 kills and 25 digs, while Celine Das had 63 assists, 30 kills and 27 digs. Sarah Esposito had 18 kills.
Das, Phillips and Darden also made the all-area team for Pope.
Harrison boys win, girls third at Furman Invitational: The Hoyas secured the title by 12 points over Parkview, led by Ryan Brock’s seventh-place time of 15 minutes, 52 seconds.
The Hoyas ran in the pack, with their top five runners finishing 31 seconds apart.
Jacob Cooper was 10th overall at 16:02. Spencer Borchelt clocked in at 16:15, Dylan Elmy at 16:17 and Jacob McCord at 16:23.
The Harrison girls came up one point short of second, behind Collins Hill with champion Myers Park (N.C.).
Audrey Smith led Harrison by finishing sixth overall in 19:10. Kennedy Sorge was ninth in 19:14 and Maddie Rountree also broke 20 minutes at 19:19.
Harrison will be competing in the Coach Wood Invitational next weekend in Gainesville.